Reciprocal Moorage at the Bellingham Yacht Club

Plan your course so as to arrive around the west end of the breakwater; a green buoy about 100′ out off the end, and a red buoy on the breakwater’s end will help you; there is also a pair of range marks on the shore to guide you in.

Turn to starboard around the rock breakwater, you will pass fish houses and a frozen food facility to port, with a large “ICE” sign atop them. Continue around to port, past the Gate 1 Fuel Dock. Continue back toward shore.

As you near the shore, you will see the BYC dock parallel to the shore and directly in front of the BYC Clubhouse building (Club rooms are on the lower floor, with the restaurant above). Take any available slip not marked “reserved.” Keep your boat close to any boat ahead of, or behind it, to allow maximum use of the dock by all desirous of doing so.

PDF Chart Diagram
PDF Aerial Harbor View


The BYC offers visitors from reciprocal Yacht Clubs use of the BYC dock; the Club’s restrooms and showers; and the BYC lounge during open hours.

The dock is over 200 feet long (of which about 100ft is available to visitors from reciprocating clubs), new in 1997, constructed of the most modern materials. It includes numerous 30 and 20-amp outlets for 100-volts AC. The restroom and showers are accessible in the Club building when the Club is attended (BYC is an all volunteer club and is not continually manned), or by special arrangement with the Club’s Dockmaster or any other officer. Dock carts are at the head of the dock, as are Port of Bellingham-operated rest rooms, shower rooms, and a laundry. There is an ice machine near the dock; also nearby are numerous engine, electric, electronic, canvas, hydraulic, haul-out, and fuel facilities and services. Two chandleries are nearby as are several restaurants from casual to luxurious. Public phones are at the head of the dock, as is a weather radio receiver. A portable holding tank pump cart is in an enclosure right next to the BYC dock. An oil dump tank is about 300 feet away for waste oil disposal.

Note: Bellingham is not a U.S. Customs check in port!

The BYC Dock is available to reciprocal club members on a first-come, first serve basis; about 100 feet is available for reciprocal guest use. Low water depth is over seven feet, and the largest boat accommodated by the fairway’s turning channel to the dock is about 65 feet. The first night’s moorage is free; thereafter, the moorage is $.50/foot per night. Power on the dock is $5.00 per day for each day used. Moorage is limited to three days except by special arrangement. The dock is a side-tie, parallel dock. Users should tie up as close as possible to the boat(s) in front and behind to maximize the number of boats served. BYC reserves the right to adjust dock lines and/or refuse or grant moorage at it’s sole discretion on this dock to offer the most boats moorage, and to facilitate Club use of the dock for any purpose.


Upon arrival boaters should collect a BYC registration form/envelope from the small wooden box at the east end of the dock. The information should be completed, and the envelope stub should be posted on a window of the vessel clearly visible from the dock. Prior to departure the envelope containing cash or check should be deposited in the BYC box on the Club (basement) doorway. If the skipper’s club does not have reciprocal privileges, the skipper will be asked to move the boat from the BYC dock.

Visitors are required to: (A) Return dock carts promptly after use; (B) Honor the “no sewage discharge” policy of the Port of Bellingham and USCG; (C) Take all garbage to the dumpsters located across from BYC Club house; (D) Do no cooking and/or have no fires on the docks themselves; (E) Keep lines and cords coiled and stowed so as to minimize their hazard; (E) Display the BYC registration-envelope stub in the boats window dockside; and (F) Fly their club’s burgee.

Download summary of BYC Reciprocal Policy

Reciprocal Yacht Club List

PDF Download

These are only clubs that have sent letters of reciprocity to the BYC and is updated as new information is available. Virtually all nationally recognized clubs will grant reciprocity!

An excellent guide book to most NW clubs is The Burgee, available at most chandleries, and we recommend that all BYC cruisers get a copy.

Member Yachting Club of America – The National Association of Yacht Clubs, publisher of “THE REGISTER OF AMERICAN YACHT CLUBS” Reciprocity Guide.